Claiming the title after several judging rounds, Prawn on the Lawn in Padstow impressed some of the country’s toughest industry experts with its visible fish counter, excellent wine list, range of available species on the menu and overall concept.
Now in its fifth year, the Seafood Restaurant of the Year competition is presented by Seafish, the public body that supports the £10bn UK seafood industry, and The Caterer, the UK’s leading hospitality magazine. It was launched to highlight great use of seafood and knowledge of often under-used seafood species, in all types of restaurants.
Prawn on the Lawn is owned and run by Katie and Rick Toogood and opened its doors in Padstow in May 2015. Prior to the 24-cover eatery launching, the couple ran a fully licenced fishmongers and restaurant in Islington, London.
Today, the Padstow restaurant boasts a daily changing menu, works with local suppliers and aims to be as sustainable as possible. Diners can expect to tuck into dishes including mackerel with soy, sesame, ginger and garlic, Porthilly oysters and scallops with Thai marinade and holy basil.
Three members of the Prawn on the Lawn team will now receive an all-expenses paid seafood industry study trip organised by Seafish. This prize will give them the opportunity to extend their knowledge of the catching, processing and supply of seafood. Meanwhile, each of the five finalists have been awarded vouchers from uniform supplier Russums.
Speaking of the win, owner Rick Toogood said: “We are absolutely stunned and a bit emotional. It’s incredible to win this against such respected competition. The other restaurants in the top five are all brilliant restaurants.”
This year's competition judging panel consisted of some of the finest chefs and foodies in the UK, including Adam Thomason, Executive Head Chef at The Genuine Dining Co. in London, José Souto, Chef lecturer in Culinary Arts, Westminster Kingsway College in London, and Guy Owen, Proprietor and Head Chef of last year’s winner, The Idle Rocks, St. Mawes in Cornwall.
Guy Owen said: “Prawn on the Lawn had an exceptional mystery audit report and is a restaurant that is quirky and fun. It’s a small business using local ‘day’ fishing boats for their supplies of fish and shellfish and a variety of other local suppliers. Prawn on the Lawn is a bit of London in the South West.”
Andy Gray, Trade Marketing Manager for Seafish, said: “It's genuinely inspirational to be among such talented seafood ambassadors.The competition for the title of Seafood Restaurant of the Year title becomes tougher every year and Prawn on the Lawn embodies everything that a good seafood restaurant should be: a business that educates and promotes the eating of fish and shellfish in the right way, simply and ethically, whilst providing a unique experience for the customer.”